By LEON WATSON
Welcoming: The team of (left to right) Nathatai Sukkaset, Dissanai Chitpraphachin, Phuntakarn Sringern and Chayathisa Nakmai greet passengers in Thai tradition by clasping their hands together
Fasten your seatbelts! A Thai airline that hired transsexuals as flight attendants to set itself apart from competitors has taken to the skies.
PC Air, a new charter airline that plans to fly routes across Asia, originally set out to hire only male and female flight attendants.
But it changed its mind after receiving more than 100 job applications from transvestites and transsexuals.
Thai President of PC Air Peter Chan (third from left) and chairman Chatwiwat Klamkomol (fourth from left) during the airline's inauguration ceremony
In demand: Thai transsexuals flight attendants, from left to right, Chayathisa Nakmai, Nathatai Sukkaset, Phuntakarn Sringern and Dissanai Chitpraphachin inside an airplane
Four were chosen, along with 19 female and 7 male flight attendants.
They are Chayathisa Nakmai, Dissanai Chitpraphachin, Nathatai Sukkaset and Phuntakarn Sringern
Flight attendant Chayathisa Nakmai introduces in-flight safety before the airline's first journey
Now the new trolly dollies have made their first journey on a flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok to Surat Thani province, southern Thailand.
The airline is hoping to expand with new routes later this month.
During the interview process the airline said that the qualifications for the ladyboy flight attendants were the same as for female flight attendants, with the additional provisos that they be like women in how they walk and talk, and have a feminine voice and the right attitude.
Thai transsexual flight attendant Phuntakarn Sringern serves food during the first domestic flight
Though there is very little discrimination against ladyboys in Thailand, they are not officially recognised as women and their identification cards will always say 'male'.
Known as 'katoeys' or 'ladyboys,' transgenders and transsexuals have greater visibility in Thailand than in many other nations, holding mainstream jobs in a variety of fields.
They are especially common in cosmetics shops or health stores, which almost always have a ladyboy shop assistant.
Nathatai Sukkaset, right, and Phuntakarn Sringern serve soft drinks to passengers
Just the ticket: Transgenders and transsexuals are more accepted in Thailand than in most other nations, holding mainstream jobs in a variety of fields
President of PC Air Peter Chan said he want to open up opportunities for Thai ladyboys before the first plane set off from Bangkok